Monday, September 10, 2018


#TinyBitterGourdSambar : I came across this special vegetable when I went to Hubli, Karnataka and without knowing its name bought it. After reaching home I searched through net and found out that it is called #Athalaikai [ #அதலைக்காய் ] in Tamizh. I named it tiny bittergourd as it is just like bittergourd but very very small in size. It is bitter in taste just like bitter gourd.
Previously I used #TinyBitterGourd to prepare Tiny Bittergourd Curry  and it was very tasty. Now I made sambar using tiny bittergourd along with other vegetables.

Tiny BitterGourd Sambar

Ingredients :
1/3 cupThuvar dhal cooked
Amla sizeTamarind, soak in hot water
1 pinchTurmeric powder
3 TspSambar powder
1 TspCoriander powder
small quantityYellow pumpkin, chop into cubes
1Murungaikai, cut into 1 1/2 in long pieces
20 - 25Tiny bittergourd [ அதலைக்காய் ], halved or quartered
7 - 8Small onion, peel
2Green chilly, split lengthwise
10 - 15Curry leaves, tear into pieces
Small pieceAsafoetida
1 TspGroundnut oil
1/2 TspMustard seeds
1 1/2 TspSalt [ adjust ]
2 TspChopped coriander

Note : Can include any other vegetables of your choice.

Method :
Take cooked Thuvar dhal [ துவரம் பருப்பு ] in a 3 lt pressure cooker.
Add Sambar powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt, mix well with hand.
Add 1 cup of water, all the vegetables, small onion, green chilly and curry leaves.
Now squeeze tamarind with half a cup of water and strain into the cooker.
Close the pressure cooker with weight on.
Cook on high flame for 2 whistles.
Turn off the stove and open the pressure cooker only after it ran out of steam.
Oh wow!! tasty tasty tiny bittergourd sambar is ready to taste.
Adjust salt and mix well.

Now keep a kadai with one Tsp of groundnut oil.
Crackle mustard seeds and then add asafoetida turn off the stove.
Finally add 3 or 4 curry leaves tearing them by hand.
Pour the tempering over the hotty hot sambar.
Transfer into a serving bowl topped with chopped coriander leaves.

Take hot white rice in a plate, pour a ladle full of sambar and a dash of ghee or gingelly oil.
Mix well with hand and enjoy with your favorite stir fry or curry.
Sambar is a great accompaniment to paruppu sadham [ rice mixed with lentil and ghee ].
And also goes well with curd rice.
Tiny BitterGourd Sambar

Other recipes you might like to try

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Aviyal Venthaya kuzhambu Manathakkali vathakuzhambu Vadai morekuzhambu Vazhaipoo Kuzhambu

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


#TinyBitterGourdCurry : We made a trip to Hubli in the first week of July. Then, we went to the Hubli market, where we saw many street vendors selling heaps of some vegetables which we had never seen so far. Initially we thought that these vegetables belong to some varieties of chilly. Then I took it on my hand and on a closer look, it was exactly like a bitter gourd but very small in size. I checked with two or three vendors but I couldn't recall what they told. So I named it #TinyBitterGourd. Considering its size it can also be called #LillipiutBitterGourd. Later I have found out through google search that it is known as #Athalaikai [ #அதலைக்காய் ] in Thamizh. It is widely consumed in Southern parts of Tamil Nadu, Northern parts of Karnataka, some parts of Andhra and Maharashtra. It is effective in controlling diabetes and intestinal worms.

To know more about its scientific name and other details kindly go to the link given below.

Athalaikai [ அதலைக்காய் ]

I prepared a masala curry just like bitter gourd masala curry, the taste was superb.
Here comes the method of preparation.

#Athalaikai [ #அதலைக்காய் ]

Ingredients :
150 gmTiny Bitter gourd
1 TspGround nut oil
1 pinchTurmeric powder
1/4 TspMustard
1/2 TspBlack gram split
1/2 TspSalt
To Grind :
1 1/2 TbspCoconut scrapping
2 - 3Red chilly [ adjust ]
1/2 TspCumin seeds
1/2 TspFennel
1/4 TspCoriander seeds
10 - 15Curry leaves
small amountCoriander leaves
2 clovesGarlic
1 medium sizeOnion, chop
1/8 TspSalt

Method :
Wash tiny bittergourd in water.
Snap top and bottom and cut into halves or quadruples.
Remove seeds if it is very hard.

Take all the things to grind except onion in a blender.
Grind with less water.
Finally add onion and run for a few seconds.
Transfer into a bowl and keep aside.

Heat a kadai on a stove over medium flame.
Add oil and crackle mustard seeds once oil becomes hot.
Then add split black gram and keep stirring till it becomes golden color.
Now add chopped tiny bitter gourd, turmeric powder and salt.
Mix well
Sprinkle little water and close with a lid.
Cook on slow flame till the vegetable becomes soft.
Add prepared masala and mix well.
Cook on slow fire till the raw smell goes off and the curry becomes dry.
Adjust salt and transfer into a serving bowl.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Goes well with hot white rice mixed with sambar or rasam.

Tiny bittergourd curry

You might like to try
Sundaikkai [ Turkish berry ] masala curry katharikkai [ brinjal ] phata phat curry kothavarangai [ cluster beans ] paruppu usili pagarkkai [ bitter gourd ] paruppu masala curry tender raw jackfruit curry

For other stir fry varieties and curry varieties

Curry Index

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


#PalakLentil [ #PalakDhal ] : #Palak or #PalakKeerai tastes like Mulaikeerai. So if palak keerai is not available then mulaikeerai can be used in its place. Some years back we never used to get palak in Chennai and even now palak is not available in most parts of TN. But now #PalakKeerai is widely available in Chennai.  If the leaves are tender then it takes very less time to cook. Some varieties of palak tastes slightly bitter. Masiyal, palak koottu can be prepared using this keerai.
#Greens are good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should include green leafy vegetable in our daily diet.
Here comes a very tasty and simple recipe using palak.

Palak Lentil

Ingredients :
1/8 CupGreen gram split
1/2 CupPalak, washed and chopped
1 small sizeTomato, washed and chopped nicely
1 medium sizeOnion, peeled and chopped
1 or 2Green chilly [ adjust ], slit lengthwise
10 to 12Curry leaves
small amountCoriander leaves to garnish
2 pinchTurmeric powder
1/4 TspCumin powder
1/2 TspSalt [ adjust ]
To Temper :
1/4 TspMustard seed
1/2 TspBlack gram split
1/2 TspOil

Method :
Take green gram in a 2/3 lt pressure cooker.
Wash once and add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1/4 cup of water.
Pressure cook on High flame for 3 whistles.
Open the pressure cooker only after it ran out of steam.

Heat a kadai with 1/2 Tsp of oil on a stove over medium flame.
Crackle mustard seeds and then add split black gram.
Then add green chilly and curry leaves once black gram turns golden color.
Saute for few seconds and then add chopped onion.
Saute till onion becomes pale pink in color.
Now add chopped tomato and saute till it becomes soft.
Add turmeric powder, cumin powder and salt.
Mix well and add chopped palak & 1/3 cup of water.
Add cooked green gram and simmer till palak cooks soft.
Adjust salt and turn off the stove.
Transfer into a serving bowl.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

#PalakKoottu goes well with white rice.
Tastes good with chappathy and puri also.

Palak Lentil

Other green leafy vegetable recipes 

Red Greens Masiyal - Mashed Red Amaranth greens Red Greens Dhal Masiyal Red Greens Lentil manathakkali keerai paal saru [ kazhani saru ] murungai keerai paal saru [ kazhani saru ]